RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – May 31, 2011


TODAY: Magnitsky prosecutor off the hook; Khodorkovsy appeals, appears on state TV; comments on Moscow’s thwarted gay pride parade; Georgian journalists detained; G8 misunderstandings; tennis posters removed; police chiefs lose jobs over reforms; Orthodox Church goes after abortion. 
The Prosecutor General has ruled that Oleg Silchenko, the official who refused to release Sergei Magnitsky from pretrial detention or transfer him to a hospital, has done nothing wrong.  Activists say that the ruling is a whitewash.  Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s appearance on state-owned NTV in a ‘seemingly unbiased report‘ about his decision to apply for parole is prompting observers to speculate over a softening of the official position on his imprisonment.  The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Khodorkovsky’s rights were violated following his 2003 arrest, and has ordered Russia to pay damages.  The Secretary General of the Council of Europe has expressed regret over the clashes seen at Moscow’s attempted gay rights march over the weekend.  The Equality Network comments on the six-year-long Moscow effort to hold a gay pride march.  Two Georgian journalists have been detained in Moscow for working without accreditation.

Alexander Golts says that Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama must have ‘completely misunderstood each other‘ during their talks on the sidelines of the G8 summit, as Medvedev responded to comments about the success of the reset with the promise of an arms race.  The government demanded that posters advertising a department store sports collection by depicting Medvedev and Putin in tennis gear be removed.  A third of Russia’s police chiefs have lost their jobs after failing mandatory re-evaluations related to ongoing reform.
The Orthodox Church is attempting to pass legislation that would ban free abortions and prohibit the prescription-free distribution of the morning-after pill.  On Russia’s landmark locations
PHOTO: A street billboard has a sticker attached to it with images of Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev, right, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in tennis outfits, in downtown Moscow, Monday May 30, 2011. Putin’s office demanded that the image made by photo manipulation be urgently removed from the streets.(AP Photo/Mikhail Proshkin)